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Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

Eleven top New York chefs share their favorite cheap eats in the city

Written by
Dan Q Dao

New York has one of the most innovative food scenes in the world but, unfortunately, not always one of the most affordable. So we asked eleven chefs from some of the most high-end establishments in the city to tell us the food they eat when they're trying to save a buck.

Sabich sandwich at Taïm ($8.50)
“I love this sandwich; it’s incredibly filling. I actually ate this on my wedding day, a few hours before the ceremony.” —Leah Cohen, Pig and Khao and Piggyback Bar

Breakfast burrito at Choza Taqueria ($9)
“Delicious, healthy and with a legit Mexican-roadside vibe. It’ll fill you up—great way to start the day.” —Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park

Egg-salad sandwich and lime rickey at Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop (Sandwich $7.50, drink $2)
“The vibe is instantaneous when you walk in: unapologetically old school. They cook the eggs and lovingly sandwich and serve them as you sit at the counter. A tart lime rickey to wash it down, and I’m good to go.Never disappoints.” —Alex Guarnaschelli, Butter

Beef-brisket soup noodle at Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle & Dumpling ($6)
“I love the brisket noodle soup. It’s super cheap and filling and has great flavor for such a simple dish. The noodles are always fresh and have this incredible texture.” —Flynn McGarry, Gem 

Burger at Corner Bistro ($9.75)
“This burger is such a satisfying meal when you need to indulge—and so tasty because it’s made on the griddle.”—Simone Falco, Rossopomodoro

Lengua taco at Taqueria St. Marks Place ($3.50)
“They do offal tacos really well. One of my favorites is this one made with beef tongue. It’s rich and melts in your mouth but also has a tart bite because of the lime; the salsa fresca helps cut through it.”—Emily Yuen, Bessou

Fried diced pork at El Anzuelo Fino ($9) 
“This is one of the best sandwiches Peru has to offer. It’s made with chicharrón (succulent pork), which is cooked in its own fat and then fried to make it crispy. It’s piled on a roll called pan francés, with fried sweet potatoes, salsa criolla and an aji amarillo mayo.”—Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn

BBQ Roast Pork over Rice at Wah Fung No.1 Fast Food ($4)
"I'm a huge fan of roast meats, and the BBQ roast pork over rice is delicious and cheap. The box is jammed with rice and roast pork and makes for a really hearty lunch." —Thomas Chen, Tuome

Slice at Di Fara ($5)
“One of my all-time favorite cheap eats. The slice is perfect, the place is a piece of NYC history and never, ever disappoints. Well worth the trip out there!” —Michael Chernow, Seamore's 

Falafel pita from Mamoun's ($4.25)
“After a long shift, I love to grab a falafel sandwich from Mamoun’s and bring it back to my place to watch my DVR'd shows. It’s such a great deal and always makes me full and happy, especially because it brings me back to my Lebanese roots.” —Matt Abdoo, Pig Bleecker

Spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods ($7.75)
"I’m obsessed with noodles and I love trying them in ways that highlight other cultures, other than Italian, which is my personal comfort zone. The lamb noodles here have so much flavor, and it’s just wrong they cost so little." —Jared Braithwaite, Colonie


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